The winter is hard on your skin — cold weather, dry wind and bright sunlight all add up to one tough season. Your normal skincare regimen is not quite enough. Boost your routine with these tips, courtesy of skin therapist Anna Markianos of Stockholm.
What Makes Winter Different?
When temperature drops, skin gets drier. The temperature difference between the cold outdoors and the dry, warm indoors also causes evaporation of the skin's natural moisture, which can cause you to experience patches of oily and dry skin.
Skin reacts differently in the winter for different individuals, but generally, many experience their skin becoming extra sensitive, drying and peeling off.
6 Must Know Winter Skin Care Tips
1. Change to a Cleaning Oil
Good cleaning is the foundation for a good skincare base — regardless of the season. In the winter, when your skin is driest, you can replace your usual cleansing product with a “non-comedogenic” cleaning oil (meaning it doesn’t block pores). Cleaning oil efficiently cleans away dirt and make-up and can be washed off completely. After cleaning, the skin has a nice, smooth surface but isn’t greasy.
2. Deep Clean at Night
On really cold days, carefully wipe a facial toner across your face in the morning to freshen up without damaging the skin's lipid cover, which is what keeps moisture in your skin from evaporating. But remember to clean your skin thoroughly before going to bed.
3. Peel Away Flakiness with Enzymes
If the surface of your skin is dry, it’s a sign you need to get rid of old skin cells that prevent moisture from getting into your skin. If you use so-called “mechanical peeling” then be careful, as the small grinding grains can irritate skin made sensitive from the weather. Instead, do an enzyme peeling about twice a week — the enzyme peeling works chemically by “eating” old skin cells without affecting the remaining skin too much.
4. Night Work for Your Skin
Especially in the winter, it might be a good idea to invest in a night cream that does some heavy work while you sleep. Put on a moisturizing, overnight facial mask regularly.
Many skin care brands also have protective creams that can be especially important if you will be outdoors for long periods of time. Also, remember to add a sunscreen cream if you are lucky enough to be in a sunny winter landscape.
5. Fill up from the Inside
You can give your skin some extra help by making sure your food provides you with some extra antioxidants and plenty of Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9. Nuts and fruits can provide you with essential nutrients, and exercise in all its form increases the blood circulation in the skin, which contributes to making your skin suppler and softer.
6. AHA and Vitamin-C Kick
If your skin feels tired and it shows the fallout from a cold, treatment with Vitamin C gives it the luster back and magically removes signs of tired winter skin.
In the winter, before the sun gets too strong, it can be a great idea to do a face peel with alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA). Treatments with AHA should preferably not be done during the summer, as the sun can then damage the skin and create pigmentation spots. However, even in the winter it is absolutely necessary to use a sunscreen to protect your skin after an AHA treatment.
If you have a very sensitive skin, suffer from rosacea or have an eczema-like rash, you should be careful with any type of acid treatment, such as AHA. A good skin therapist can guide you to the right type of treatment and make a judgment about what best fits your particular skin type.
Also, check out 7 interesting ways to include tomatoes for healthy skin here.